Terrible trophy yields good idea!

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, left, with Rebecca and Jon Rysewyk at a reception in his honor last week.

It’s gotten to be an old — and, frankly, kind of boring — joke among Leadership Knoxville graduates that their class was “the best class ever.” Going into its 33rd class starting later this month, the venerable leadership training organization has more than 1,300 graduates.

One of the classes — the class of 2010 — has taken the “best class ever” gag to a new level. They’ve  purchased a God-awful humongous trophy which they bestow to a lucky (?) member of their class who comes up with a good idea for a class project. Last week, retiring school board member and local Realtor Virginia Babb took home the monstrosity for coming up with the idea of holding a reception in honor of one of their class members, Jon Rysewyk, who recently was named superintendent of Knox County Schools.

The very nice event actually was a good idea. Held at the Knoxville Museum of Art, which is helmed by executive director David Butler, another member of the Leadership Knoxville Class of 2010, it attracted a crowd of about 60 well-wishers, most of whom were not members of the class.

School board member Virginia Babb takes home this beauty. Ha.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, left, with Mark and Nan Gaylord.

From left, State Rep. Sam McKenzie, Ronni Chandler, Warren Dockter and Gay Lyons.

Tammy White, left, with Susan Dakak. White is president and CEO of Leadership Knoxville.

Bill Lyons, left, with LeRoy Thompson.

From left, Lauren Longmire, Jim Dickson, Harry Gross and Amy Nolan.

Jerry Askew and Knoxville City Councilmember Janet Testerman.

Doug White, left, and Alan Carmichael.

State Rep. Dave Wright, left, with Wendy Besmann and David Butler.

One thing you learn in Leadership Knoxville is the art of mingling!

From left, Virginia Babb, Jason Hardy and Matthew DeBardelaben.

Rosalind Martin, left, with DeLena Feliciano.

Melissa White and Bill Lyons.

Jane Jolley, left, with Ronnie Collins and Sharon Lambdin.

Melody Hawkins, left, and Paula Hancock.

From left, Dottie Arnett, Janet Testerman and Hugh Nystrom.

Yum. Relatively healthy, too, as these things go.

Sweet little centerpieces adorned the tall tables.

Soon, it was time for remarks. David Butler is at the microphone with Mike Parton, president of the Leadership Knoxville Class of 2010. And that trophy.

Rysewyk spoke briefly and thanked his classmates.

Everyone gathered beneath the museum’s slightly naughty signature installation by local artist Richard Jolley.


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2 Responses to Terrible trophy yields good idea!

  1. Katie Kline, on August 5th, 2022 at 5:26 pm said:

    Congratulations to our KCS Superintendent on his new role.
    Thank you Mark and Sam – strong showing by the LK 2001 class!

  2. Gay Lyons, on August 7th, 2022 at 12:47 am said:

    As a member of the class of 2010, I was happy to host, along with classmates, this reception. We’re proud of Jon—and always happy to gather.

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